The Ohio State University Muslim Students Association (OSU-MSA) describes itself as “a non-profit student organization devoted to serving the best interest of Islam and the Muslims of OSU, strengthening the Muslim community through service and activism, educating both Muslims and people of other faiths about the religion of Islam, and facilitating a better environment for students on campus.” Toward these ends, the organization “sponsors regular functions that are usually targeted for Muslims” but “are not exclusive to Muslims.” Most notable are its weekly Friday prayer services and its bi-monthly “Sisters Circle,” the latter of which is designed to foster comaraderie among female Muslims on campus.
Prior to 9/11, OSU-MSA produced and distributed MSA News, which served as the primary English-language outlet for virtually every Islamic terrorist and extremist group on earth — including al Qaeda, the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, and the Islamic Salvation Front (a political party banned in Algeria. Moreover, this publication urged campus groups to purchase a videotape called “The Martyrs of Bosnia” and show it to Muslim-only gatherings. The video was sold by the London-based Azzam Productions, whose website regularly solicited funds for the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan before being shut down by the British and German governments post-9/11.
Over the course of several days in October 2001, OSU-MSA sponsored an event called “Islam,” whose purpose, according to the OSU student newspaper, was “to promote the true nature of the religion” via brochures, CD-ROMs, and lectures. “We feel that it is very important for the general public, particularly the campus community, to know about Islam and Muslims,” said OSU-MSA’s then-interim president Asif Salim. According to Salim, 9/11 had caused many Americans to develop distorted and negative views of Islam. He said, for instance, that “jihad” does not mean “holy war” as most media outlets had reported. “By definition, it means struggling and striving” to be a better person, explained Salim. “It doesn’t refer to warfare.”
Salim also asserted that the American media had unfairly cast Islam’s treatment of women in a negative light. “We try to reverse the trend spreading in society and give an accurate view of Islam,” he said. Moreover, Salim lamented what he viewed as the American public’s backlash against Muslims nationwide: “It’s really sad that people in a country that is supposed to stand for a melting pot with different cultures and people could be so intolerant.”
In October 2002, then-Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian made an on-campus appearance at an OSU-MSA rally. The following year, OSU-MSA played a central role in hosting the “Third National Conference on Palestinian Solidarity,” where al-Arian was the keynote speaker.
In February 2006, OSU-MSA hosted a week-long “Leaders of Tomorrow” conference co-sponsored by Kindhearts, an organization that was raided soon thereafter by federal law enforcement and was closed by order of the Treasury Department for financing terrorism. Other co-sponsors of the “Leaders of Tomorrow” event included:
Kindhearts’ local parent organization, Masjid Omar Ibn El-Khattab, the Ohio mosque which was home to the largest known al Qaeda cell in the U.S. since 9/11
The president of OSU-MSA at that time was Mohamed Sultan — son of the prominent, terrorist-supporting Sheikh Salah Sultan. Three years later, in a January 2009 appearance on Egyptian television, the elder Sultan, who has been photographed at events with several Hamas leaders, would threaten the U.S. with destruction while invoking a notorious Islamic hadith about the inevitable extermination of the Jews at the hands of Muslims.
During the week of October 22-26, 2007, the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week (IFAW) activities — whose purpose was to educate American college students about the nature of the fanatical religious movement aiming to create a global Muslim empire — were held at Ohio State and 113 other college campuses across the U.S. In response to IFAW, OSU-MSA joined with the campus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in sponsoring an educational forum titled “Interfaith Relations – the Muslim Perspective.” This event featured a speech by Jamal Badawi, whose past and present group affiliations include CAIR, the Fiqh Council of North America, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim American Society, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Badawi, who has decreed it a religious “duty” for all able-bodied Muslims to wage jihad against the American military, also has ties to Yousef Al-Qaradawi.
In April 2009, OSU-MSA held a luncheon fundraiser featuring guest speaker George Galloway, just three weeks after he had appeared on Al Jazeera television to ceremoniously gift a large sum of money to Hamas leaders in Gaza. A flier promoting the luncheon stated that not only would “all proceeds go to Gaza,” but also that the event was being co-sponsored by the Noor Islamic Cultural Center, a prominent Columbus-area mosque that had recently made headlines vis a vis its terrorist ties.
In February 2010, OSU-MSA co-sponsored an “International Day of Solidarity and Action” whose purpose was to raise awareness of the “injustice of the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories.” Fellow sponsors included chapters of such organizations as Iraq Veterans against the War, Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine, the War Resisters League, and Women in Black.